27 May 1994
Today was "'buy and sell day." I sold magnets. I bought a name tag, a balloon filled with flower, a magnet, a Chinese star (made out of popcicle sticks), a little truck, two faces painted on plates, a tracing fun book, a gray thing that's little and hollow, a braded keychain, a viser and a travel gyde.
That is a journal entry I made when I was 9, complete with spelling mistakes. It's funny reading that, because that is not a day that I would otherwise remember. But after reading it, I remember it vividly. The magnets I sold were made from putting plaster in molds and then putting a magnet on the back (a favorite craft from my youth). I had also made bookmarks, but didn't think they were good enough for "buy and sell day," so I didn't take them with me. I really like that balloon with flour (not flower) and kept it for a long time. And the only reason I bought those painted paper plates was because I felt bad no one else was buying them from that person. They weren't very good, but the kid had tried hard and I didn't want them to feel left out.
Just those few sentences take me back and I can see and feel everything from that time, even what seemed unimportant.
I'm probably a bit strange (though you could very well take the middle three words out of that sentence). I've always been a big believer in recording history. I have volumes of notebooks filled with journal entries and other thoughts as I've gone through life. And boxes and boxes filled with pictures. I'm not sure which of those two things I'm more obsessive about: taking pictures or writing about the experiences.
But is that something I'd ever regret? Too many notes about experiences in my life? Too many pictures of the events? I have my doubts.
I do know what I will regret - not knowing the stories of people who came before me. Not knowing what their lives were like, what challenges they face, what they accomplished in their own eyes. Especially those closest to me.
So while I try to coerce as many histories out of my family as I can, I can't force it. But I certainly can make sure I write down my own experiences. So far, it has really only been for my own benefit. I don't really want anyone to read about me right now. But someday.
I may never be famous or important enough to have a New York Times bestselling autobiography, but that really doesn't matter. No one will have lived the same life as me. And I think that will be valuable in some way. At least to someone.
So I'll continue to write history, and hope many others will too. And someday maybe you'll be able to buy the bestseller about my life. Or maybe I'll just give you a copy.
I don't think I was ever a particularly ungrateful child. Sure, I had my moments like most children do. But I like to think that I always appreciated my parents and what they did for us kids.
Nope. At least not nearly enough. Whenever I heard stories about how difficult I was as a baby (rarely sleeping, always crying), I just figured that's okay because that is what parents do - deal with fussy babies. Which I suppose is true, but that still doesn't make it just "part of the job." It's tough stuff.
And what about all the sacrifices? Sleep. Time. Money. A little bit of sanity. And sleep. You can't understand that until you live it. Which is what everyone says and no one believes until. they actually live it. I'm still not sure I fully understand it. Probably the sleep deprivation.
No, I was never ungrateful, but I certainly was not grateful enough to my parents. I'm not sure you ever can be. It's probably just one of those things that you pay forward.
So here is a special thanks to my parents, who never made it seem like a sacrifice. I'm sure I'll understand a little more each day how grateful I should have been, but at least I'll be paying it forward. Or paying for it. Or both.
My personal musings on a variety of topics.